Super sub Sam Wilson was the hero firing home the winner for Manly United in a tense 1-0 victory against Sutherland Sharks at Seymour Shaw on Saturday night.
United scooped all three points after Wilson’s incredible 89th minute winner which broke the hearts of Sutherland fans as the game looked destined for a draw.
The Sharks struggled to find their rhythm against a robust Manly side with their key playmakers unable to find the quality which could’ve been the difference.
From the opening whistle, both sides got into their work. Much of the play came through the midfield as both sides struggled to create clear cut chances in the opening quarter on a crisp night at Seymour Shaw park.
It seemed like the set piece was the best avenue to find an opening. Manly United FC had two terrific chances from free-kicks but they flew harmlessly wide, the latter from the head of Leigh Egger.
The home side were similarly stunted. Nicholas Olsen found himself in some promising positions but there was a lack of end product which saw them be wasted.
Sutherland’s best chance was a half one where Adrian Vranic dipped a first time effort over the bar as the sides headed into the break locked at 0-0.
Coming out from half-time, the game opened up as Dylan Macallister cleverly responded to a knockdown before he arrowed an effort inches wide of the post.
Still the contest relied on set pieces for the majority of action.
Brendan Cholakian hammered one into the wall on the hour mark then down the other end, Jacob Tratt had his effort cleared off the line then the follow up bounced wide.
Tratt continued to be right in the thick of the action as the defender lept high in the air to thump a header over the bar.
Sutherland started to sense that the three points was right in their grasp.
They produced the movement of the contest on 66 minutes when a sweeping move ended with Ryoga Suyama on the edge of the box.
The attacker tried to place his effort but saw it bounce frustratingly past the post.
That was the best it got for the Sharks.
The final fifteen minutes were peppered with shots by an increasingly desperate Manly United side.
Macallister and Cholakian started to find space, testing Sharks keeper, Ryan Norval with a pair of efforts before Travis Oughtred and Dom Ferguson roamed from their defensive position in search for the winner.
Ultimately there was a goal coming in the contest.
It came only 60 seconds before injury time as Norval produced a superb save that fell directly to Manly substitute Sam Wilson.
He calmly slotted home to hand the visitors a 1-0 victory.
Following the result, Manly United coach Paul Dee was full of praise for his side’s effort.
“It was a real dogfight that game.
“You saw both teams were desperate for the win. There was high intensity but it compromised the quality,” he said.
“We’re real happy to get a goal near the end there. We’re a fit team so we’re motivated to get out there, worked our way into the game. That was a really good weekend for us, and it’s a cliché but we’re gonna take a week at a time.”
The loss was a bitter pill for Sutherland Sharks coach Grant Lee to swallow.
He knew his side was in for a tough contest against Manly but lamented that his side has fallen to the visitors twice this season in late circumstances.
“It’s where we are.
“In saying that I thought we were the better team tonight. I would’ve been disappointed if we got the draw but football is a cruel game, but that’s what beautiful about it too,” he said.
“That is the sort of game you have against them [Manly], we had a similar contest against them earlier this season which we also lost at the end. It is never a free-flowing game against them but I thought we stayed in our systems well tonight, but couldn’t find the goal.”
Sutherland Sharks 0
Manly United FC 1 (Wilson ‘89)
Saturday 21 July 2018
Seymour Shaw, Miranda
Referee: A. Mansour
Assistant Referees: A. Giev, J. Park & K. Humphreys
Fourth Official: M. Bailey
Sutherland Sharks FC: 1. NORVAL Ryan, 2. TRATT Jacob, 5. BARTELS Bradley, 6. EVERETT Lachlan, 8. PATRAMANIS Evan, 9. VRANIC Adrian (11. TANOVSKI ‘85), 15. LITTLER Nicholas, 16. SUYAMA Ryoga (3. STEWART ‘88), 17. JENNINGS Leroy, 20. HAYASHI Keisuke, 22. OLSEN Nicholas
Substitutes not used: 12. BROWN Blair, 21. LOE Niklas, 26. SUTHERLAND Harry
Yellow cards: Bartels and Littler
Red cards: nil
Manly United FC: 1. MITCHELL Dylan, 2. PAULL Kieran, 3. LOBB Jamie, 4. OUGHTRED Travis, 6. FERGUSON Dom, 8. MACURA Sasa, 9. MACALLISTER Dylan (11. TANESKI ‘76), 10. CHOLAKIAN Brendan, 12. EGGER Leigh, 13. BALDERSON Scott (7. CHENG ‘79), 23. ALESSI Daniel (5. WILSON ‘45)
Substitutes not used: 14. ROOKE Mitchell, 20. CATLIN Shaun
Red cards: nil
-By National Premier Leagues NSW reporter Justin Davies